保育園運営の株式会社ピアソン、組合との団交拒否は違法行為と認定

2020年10月30日 東京

東京都労働委員会は10月28日、保育園を運営する株式会社ピアソンが東ゼン労組との団体交渉を拒否したことは、労働組合法第7条2号を違反する不当労働行為であると認定した。

昨年12月、校長である中村博一氏は、生徒の保護者と講師に対し、2020年2月16日をもって羽根木インターナショナルプリスクール(下北沢)を閉校することを発表した。講師たちにとっては、2ヶ月以内に失業するという通告でもあった。

組合側は、組合員の雇用を守るために団交を申し入れるべく、ファックスやメール、電話で数え切れないほど連絡を試みたものの、中村氏はそれらを無視し続けた。株式会社ピアソンによる団交拒否は、日本国憲法第28条で定められている、講師や組合の権利を侵害する行為である。

東ゼン労組はこの件について東京都労働委員会へ不当労働行為救済を申し立てたが、株式会社ピアソンは都労委からの電話にすら応じなかった。中村氏は従業員だけでなく、行政の連絡すらも応じず、最終的には都労委への調査期日には現れず、答弁書などの提出も一切なかった。

そして、組合員の生活に関しては、新型コロナウイルス感染症の流行は、学校閉校による解雇の影響をより一層悪化させた。
「まさにゴミのように使い捨てられました」解雇された講師の一人、アダム氏はそう言いました。「このコロナ禍で使い捨てられました。就職先はありません」

その一方、会社はまるで何事もなかったかのように活発にビジネスを続けている。

例えば、4月17日には、つくばインターナショナルナーサリースクール(愛称:TINS[ティンズ])の新たなウェブサイトが公開され、4月27日にはアフタースクールのプログラムまで発表された。

東ゼン労組は直ちに新たに要求事項を提出し、団交を申し入れる。
私たちは、株式会社ピアソンを交渉の場に就かせ、アダム氏への未払い賃金を支払い、この危機的状況における社会通念に背いた行為の責任を取らせるために、今後も諦めずに闘っていく。

Shane Begins Docking Teachers’ Wages

By: Veronika Danovich

When Shane Corporation teachers checked their payslips on Tuesday September 15, 2020, they noticed a new category listed as “Repayment.” Teachers at the language school had negotiated to stop the company from taking this dreadful action. In July, the school informed them of a surprise loan that had been imposed on them during Japan’s lockdown months, initially understood as salary. Since then, the company has made no effort to negotiate in good faith. 

On August 28, newly elected teacher representatives met with Principal Alex Cox and Director Ian Holden. According to the minutes, “the average monthly deduction will be around 35,000 yen over 8 months” for teachers who were pushed into option 1  who could keep their paid leave but are required to pay back the salary that was paid to them during lockdown. Some teachers report being deducted upwards of 40,000 yen. Many teachers have expressed concern over illegal deductions made without their consent. They are also worried about the continued financial hardship they face with lower pay that will continue for 7 more paychecks. 

Teachers pushed into option 2 were permitted to keep the salary that was paid to them; however they have lost most of their paid leave and were told to work 6-day weeks to make up the days they owe for when the company was under lockdown. Certain district managers have told option 2 teachers that if they do not finish making up the extra days by March 31, 2021, then they will also be deducted for the remainder of this odious debt. Some teachers feel this is a trap and that no matter what option they choose; they will still get their wages docked. Other teachers report that they make themselves available for 6-day weeks but are still given no extra work and are told that there are no lessons to make up in certain districts. They worry that even though they make an effort to comply with what the company dictates; they will still get deducted.

The two “options” as the company called it, were not options at all. Teachers were forced to choose one or the other and if they refused to choose, they were forced onto option 1. Japanese staff were given no options, were deducted before teachers were and will be docked for 6 more paychecks. Initially, teachers were told that they would be deducted 50% from their paychecks for two consecutive months which forced many panicked and stressed teachers to choose option 2 due to the fear of suddenly not being able to pay their bills and other necessary expenses. However, the company later decided the “repayments” would be divided between 8 paychecks. This decision came without sufficient notice as the deadline the company set to decide on the options they forced upon teachers had passed. 

  Some option 2 teachers have requested to be reclassified to option 1 due to this new information, but the company refused, citing the deadline. Option 2 teachers are now forced to work during holidays mandated in their contracts, which the company says does not count towards the days owed. Shane offers no additional pay. According to Shane’s General Directives and Guidelines for Teachers section 5.1; “Teachers will earn a daily bonus of ¥15,000 for voluntarily working on a non-scheduled day of work” The company chooses to ignore these rules for option 2 teachers. 

Following the deduction, on Wednesday September 16, 22 teachers struck in response to the company’s actions. Teachers gathered in front of Shane schools in the Chiba and Saitama districts to hand out flyers to passersby and inform them about the treatment of teachers. “We did not consent to this” was written on one side of the flyers, while the other side provided public access articles and information detailing Shane’s actions  regarding corona pay and taking away paid leave.

Union membership continues to increase with both Japanese and foreign staff. The union will not give up in their efforts to negotiate despite the company trying to delay and refusing any real discussion of union demands. We want to come to some kind of an agreement with management before escalating to further legal action. Shane needs to take these demands seriously and realize what they are doing is not ok by any legal or moral standards.

Tozen Union wins another victory over JCFL

 

The Tokyo Labor Commission ruled Monday morning that Japan College of Foreign Languages (JCFL, a division of Bunsai Gakuen) illegally discriminated against a member of the JCFL local due to his union activity by reducing his work load.  The commission held that in doing so JCFL management inflicted financial damages against him.  The commission ordered that JCFL pay the member backpay for his unpaid wages.

Further, the commission ruled that JCFL has been bargaining in bad faith about student satisfaction score data that had influenced management’s decision to reduce the workload of a union member.  Management was ordered to bargain in good faith.

The commission has ordered management to apologize for violating the constitutional rights of our members and to post a large sign apologizing to the union at the workplace for ten days.

The victory was thanks to the relentless struggle of the local.

The union had also filed several other claims with labor commission including interference with a leafleting and failure to bargain in good faith with the union by refusing to disclose the official work rules.  While these claims were not upheld by labor commission the union is considering filing an appeal.

Tozen Union has grown to 235 members in 20 locals.